May 24, 2022, Tuesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Poll-partnership

Editorial

The Nepal Weekly
April 19, 2022

Observing Nepali politicos dedicate themselves to define and defend transactional politics in an innovative way is a very interesting exercise. Its context – May 13 election for 753 local governments – appears equally exciting. Political parties which are ideologically opposed are building electoral alliance for the polls. Two competitive alliances – one under the ruling Nepali Congress, Maoist Centre, NCP Unified Socialist and Janata Samajwadi Party – and the other under the opposition party CPN UML are currently working hard to shed light on the virtues of political alliance during election. Critics describe the move as nothing more than a tactically opportunistic way of grabbing power while supporters term it as a strategy to protect constitutional and democratic process in the country. Neutral observers take the alliance-trend as an indicator of a political party’s failure to build own base on own strength. Their explanation refers to inability of some leaders or parties to make their stand-alone-presence felt in the public. They also note the alliance structured by the leaders who could not prove to be accommodative of team-work or plurality in leadership in the past. Neutral observers also fear the poll alliance may create conflict in post-poll times which could ultimately be instrumental in breeding corruption, non-governance, abuse of authority and further political division. The same, they worry, could harm the way to development, prosperity, sustainability and good governance. Political leaders appear not conscious of the risk that the alliance could have in times of using power to implement programmes. How voters will take the alliance-wave in 2022 is something which is to be watched closely. Whether the poll campaigners will be able to convince voters about the positive aspects of poll partnership among parties with conflicting ideologies and history of rivalry is also to be seen. Much will depend on how the candidates will present themselves before the public and the deliverables that they commit themselves to. Although poll partnership is not new to Nepalis the way it has been structured this time has innovative quality. Whether that innovation will be able to win the heart of voters in the local election is something all are looking forward to. Much could depend on how voters understand in real time the compulsion that leaders and parties felt before deciding on partnership in polls. The tone and style of messaging about the poll-partnership could also play a decisive role in motivating voters to participate in it.